Noli me Tangere Chapter 19 summary
The school teacher and Crisostomo Ibarra were standing by the lake. The former was showing Crisostomo where his father’s body was dumped. When Crisostomo thanked him, the school teacher said he need not do that since he owe Don Rafael Ibarra a lot of favors.
Don Rafael has helped the poor children and Crisostomo wishes to continue what his father was doing. The education conditions were poor. They hold classes under the convent by the side of the friar’s carriage. When the student read out loud, they were scolded by the friar.
There were times when the school teacher wants to introduce reforms but was mocked at. He wished to teach the students Spanish but was insulted by Father Damaso. He was likened to teacher Circuela, who did not know how to read but had a school.
The school teacher was also scolded for not whipping the children. The parents even pressured him to whip, saying they were no longer boys but old men of experience. He instilled what he was told to and felt bad that the children got discourage in learning. Some even wept.
As a result of the pressure, he got sick. When he recovered and went back, only a few went back to school. He discovered the town had a new priest. He was encouraged by this fact and translated some of the works into Spanish. He also taught agriculture, catechism, and Treaties on Manners by Hortensio y Feliza.
The new curate, however, ordered him to focus on teaching religion and the children should first pass an examination to show they had memorize the doctrines, canticles and catechism, much to his disappointment. Crisostomo however said the teniente-mayor might help him when he learn about these from Ibarra who’s going to attend the town meeting.